Regatta Management: Reflecting Industry Change
Regatta Management: Reflecting Industry ChangeReport Abuse
There’s become an expectation within society these days to be able to manage and do just about everything online: Dating, paying your taxes, grocery shopping, banking, buying concert tickets, and renting movies. People expect to do all of these things effortlessly, online, 24x7, with the click of a mouse. This same change is happening in the sailing industry too, albeit at a much slower pace.
Why is it that with all of the technology advances in the past decade, the sailing industry at large, still finds itself reverting back to completing hand written forms, licking a stamp and relying on the postman to enter a regatta?
Wouldn’t we all enjoy the time savings and convenience of doing this online? The good news for everyone is that online entry is here, isavailable now, and is relatively simple to set up for your club. It has actually been around for some time, while some yacht clubs are reluctant to get on board, most yacht owners are praising the clubs that have embraced online regatta management.
Benefits of Online Regatta Management
Online regatta management is a win-win for everyone involved. Boat owners can enjoy one-click entering at any participating club 24x7. Yacht clubs benefit from increased efficiency of staff, elimination of paper forms, and realize more time to spend attracting new sponsors and increasing participation.
Additionally, many solutions available today provide integrated scoring
packages, free event websites and even e-commerce stores to sell event gear and social tickets. The industry at large benefits from real time entry lists, online results postings and real-time calendars. The Bermuda Ocean Race out of
is a good example of how race organizers can see the immediate benefits of online entry. They can accept entries immediately, post and change race documents and waivers at a moments notice and much more by just clicking the mouse. With all these benefits and solutions readily accessible, why is adoption of online regatta management so slow?
Debunking the Myths
A new technology infusion into a well-established routine will always bring
about a fair amount of criticism. In order to benefit from online regatta
management, clubs must overcome some mental hurdles and common myths.
“We don’t run large regattas or as many events needed to make the switch to online regatta management worthwhile.”
Most online solutions apply a percentage based convenience fee to clubs. So the size or number of events is irrelevant in terms of cost. In addition to event management, there are other benefits to clubs such as free event website hosting, photo galleries and e-commerce stores that make the switch worthwhile.
“We don’t have technical resources to manage an online system.”
Choosing an online regatta management solution that is “turn-key” is crucial.
The better systems available today require no technical training, and no
internal IT resources at the club.
“We have a system in place that works fine.”
A third-party hosted solution will cost less to maintain and require no internal staff compared to a homegrown solution. The best solutions on the market today also have software developers, designers and management dedicated to improving the platform. A club would literally have to staff a full time software development team to compete against a third-party hosted solution.
“Everyone doesn’t want to pay online, our
users want to send in checks.”
There’s a misconception that going “online” means cutting all ties to paper based entries. On the contrary, the solutions today allow your staff to record entries received via postal mail into the same system that is accepting online entries. In essence it provides a central database for your entries and financial management whether or not use it for online entries, paper based entries or a combination of both.
Making the Switch
One of the nice things about online regatta management is that it can be done one event at a time and most solutions on the market do not require a yearly commitment or contract. If there are reservations within your club, start with a smaller event to test the waters. Companies like Compete-At.com provide use of their software for youth and charity regattas for free. Testing the waters with a smaller event is a perfect way to help adoption within your club. Finally,
your online provider should help you with getting the approval within your club by the board by providing cost and time savings statistics, references and demonstrations.
No Time Like the Present
Getting started with a solution is probably the hardest thing to do.
“Tips For Evaluating Online Regatta Solutions” will help you with your
evaluation. It’s important to make sure you view an online demonstration first and the chosen provider can assist you with the support and resources necessary to make your first event a success. Online regatta management is here, boat owners are expecting it and clubs need to start embracing the technology today.
Article provided by Boyd Tomkies at Compete-At.com a leading provider of regatta management solutions and marine software. For more information visit
www.Compete-At-Sailing.com or Email Boyd at firstname.lastname@example.org